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Published 27th Mar 2018

beanstalk charity looks for volunteers to help pre-schoolers become ready to read

Beanstalk is looking for volunteers to become Story Starters in pre-schools and nurseries in Middlesbrough, Stockton-on-Tees and East Cleveland for its new early years’ project Story Starters which will help children aged 3-5 become ready to read.

Story Starters is a new collaborative project between children’s literacy charity Beanstalk, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and LuCid (University of Liverpool) which aims to give children the support they need to develop their language and reading skills. Research has shown that children who benefit from high-quality support in their early years start school on average three months ahead in their literacy and language skills, compared with children who don’t.

Story Starter volunteers will visit an early years setting twice a week and support three children for 20 minutes each. The sessions are fun, interactive and hugely beneficial to the children receiving extra support. The child and volunteer will have access to a box full of books, as well as an additional book every month delivered directly to the trained reading helper and child.

Janet Skeen, Area Manager for Beanstalk, said:
“Beanstalk is excited to be working with early years settings across Middlesbrough, Stockton-on-Tees and East Cleveland on our new programme Story Starters. We know how important it is for children in the early years of their education to receive support with their language development, as this enables them to start primary school ready to read and able to thrive throughout their lives. It is really worrying to hear recent figures show that the proportion of toddlers being read to every day has dropped by a fifth over the last five years - a significant threat to child development. We are asking for people to come forward as volunteers now so they can be trained as Story Starters this term and start making a difference in the community.”

Become a Story Starter volunteer:
If you would to become a Story Starter, please
• Visit www.storystarters.org.uk
• Call Beanstalk on 0845 450 0301 or
• Email storystarters@beanstalkcharity.org.uk.

Volunteers also continue to be needed for Beanstalk’s 321 reading programme which already successfully runs in a number of primary schools across the North East and has been making a positive impact on children’s reading confidence and ability. This involves volunteers supporting three primary school aged children (aged 5-11), two times a week for 30 minutes in a local primary school for one academic year. One-to-one sessions enable the reading helper to tailor each session to the child’s specific needs and to pass on the magic of stories and books.

If you would like to become a trained reading helper in a local primary school, please
• Visit www.beanstalkcharity.org.uk
• Call Beanstalk on 0845 450 0307 or
• Email info@beanstalkcharity.org.uk



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